I’m glad to see that there is a revival happening in newer, custom-built homes to bring more character and personality into the living spaces. The bare-bones, builder-grade standard that the U.S. has adapted over the last 50 years is lacking in areas where there could instead be something special.
Moldings, decorative ceilings, arching doorways, unique fireplaces and other architectural touches give hints about when the home was built, what style or designer influenced it, and even the person who first lived there. A Spanish home from the 1920s, for instance, will probably include rounded doorways and fireplaces in stucco, and a neoclassical house might have columns in the great room. These design elements that tell a home’s story are beautiful, stately and anything but boring — and we can’t get enough of them. Click through the gallery to find 15 homes that understand this concept: design is in the details.
Julia Sherman's 1890s Brooklyn townhouse
was brought back to life by removing moldy carpet, fallen ceilings and black mold. It has been returned to its original grandeur. The crown molding, arched doorway and thick trim gave Julia hope that it could be done.
Amelia and Peter's downtown Chicago condo
is outfitted with tons of elegantly placed wall moldings. Amelia's love for trying out new decor ideas and colors is given the sophisticated backdrop of the home's architectural features.
This Israeli hotel's attention to architectural and artistic details is almost too much to absorb.
The Efendi Hotel
was an abandoned building rescued from decay and turned into this masterpiece in 2001. The structural features are highlighted by colorful added details and the decision to keep some of the fixtures white-on-white.
Morgane's Parisan home
is decorated in a relaxed and personal way. The French elements in the space are jaw-dropping. The ceiling, mirror, molding and fireplace are each showstoppers on their own. Morgane's casual style creates a lovely juxtaposition with the ornate decoration of the structure.
Melissa and Keye's bold Brooklyn Brownstone
was restored from potential hazard to rich and welcoming. "There were phone calls from the crew every other day about some unforeseen issues inside of this over 100-year-old house," Melissa says. "Roof leaks, unexpected load-bearing walls, electrical that was not up-to-code, the kind of renovation horror stories that we all have seen on TV — you name it and we had it." Melissa's use of color in her office is enhanced by the original carpentry in the space.
The intricate stone detail in
Gauri Nanda's home
is breathtaking. The serene and minimal color palette allows the painted woodwork and carved stone to shine.
1800s Baltimore church
has been transformed into a doctor's office, public housing and now into Andre and Chris' condo building. The picture moldings and antique floors have kept the building true to its era throughout the art deco and mid-century renovations.
A 1920s historic building is now home to 27 hotel rooms at
Philly's ROOST Apartment Hotel
. The decorative ceilings, art deco details and grand entryway make it easy to keep that 1920s feel in an updated hotel.
Tile details on the fireplace, built-in bookshelves, and a picture rail in this
Bristol, UK living room
leave the space full of interest, depth and beauty.
Nina Gotlieb's country home
was inspired by New York barns. She wanted her home to be open and modern, but without the feeling that everything was brand new. Exposed wooden beams and pitched ceilings give this newer home tons of character and charm.
Architectural details can be done in a modern way.
This coastal Spanish home
plays with linear details throughout in an interesting and sleek style.
Hotel Nord Pinus-Tanger in Morocco
is a wonderful display of Moroccan classic architecture. Keyhole doorways, carved stone and tiled walls make for a stunning atmosphere to enjoy while traveling in Northern Africa.